Van Bikeradar: Hunt Limitless wheels up stiffness and drop weight with carbon spokes

Hunt has launched new versions of its 48 Limitless and 60 Limitless carbon wheelsets with unidirectional (UD) carbon spokes, which we first spotted at Eurobike 2022.

The spokes, which lace to the rim in a conventional manner using Hunt’s ‘TaperLock’ technology, boast full serviceability while saving weight compared to ordinary steel spokes.

A 48 Limitless UD wheelset weighs a claimed 1,511g, compared to 1,618g for the steel-spoked version. The 60 Limitless UD wheelset sees a slightly larger weight saving of 118g, bringing the claimed weight down to 1,551g for that wheelset.

Just like the steel-spoked wheels, the new hoops feature Hunt’s Sprint SLC hubs fitted with steel bearings, or CeramicSpeed ceramic bearings as an optional upgrade.

The 48 Limitless UD and 60 Limitless UD wheelsets are available to pre-order now, priced from £1,449 / $1,669 / €1,889 and £1,499 / $1,729 / €1,949 respectively.

Carbon spokes with ‘TaperLock’

‘TaperLock’ technology sees alloy and steel mandrels provide the serviceable interface between the hub, spokes and rims.

The updated wheels see the integration of carbon spokes, via Hunt’s ‘TaperLock’ technology.

The tech, first seen on the brand’s 44 and 54 Disc wheels, sees unidirectional carbon spokes ‘laced’ via an alloy mandrel at the hub and a steel mandrel at the rim.

This means the spokes aren’t attached to the rim via the sort of permanent, structurally imperative bond many other carbon-spoked wheelsets are designed with.

Hunt claims this design enables full serviceability, while still seeing weight savings and improvements in wheelset stiffness.

As a result, the 48 Limitless UD wheelset is said to be 107g lighter than the steel-spoked version, and the 60 Limitless UD wheelset 118g lighter than its counterpart.

Hunt says its previous testing with the technology – pitting a 44 Aerodynamicist wheelset versus a 44 UD Carbon Spoke wheelset – showed a six per cent reduction in deflection despite the use of four fewer spokes in the carbon-spoked wheel.

However, additional tests haven’t been published on the new wheelsets.

Limitless rims and CeramicSpeed bearings

Hunt’s Limitless rims are said to be among the fastest on the market.

The rims remain precisely the same as the standard steel-spoked Limitless wheelsets.

The shape, which is claimed to be among the most aerodynamically efficient available according to Hunt’s own wind-tunnel tests, are differentiated between the 48mm and 60mm-depth offerings to optimise performance in terms of weight or aerodynamics.

The shallower 48 Limitless rims are 22.5mm wide internally, with a 35mm maximum external width. The deeper 60 Limitless rims are slightly narrower, at 21mm internally and 34mm externally.

Both feature hooked, tubeless-ready rims (as opposed to the hookless rims seen on the 32 Limitless wheelset). They are said to be aerodynamically optimised for 700 x 28c tyres, although Hunt says you could fit up to 50mm-wide rubber.

CeramicSpeed bearings are a selectable option.
Chris Hurd

In the middle are Hunt’s Sprint SLC hubs. They’re made of 7075-series alloy, with the freehub featuring a 48-point ratchet design, with multi-point pawls engaging at 7.5-degree angles.

We’ve reviewed the Hunt 54 Aerodynamicist wheelset, which has similar hub internals. That wheelset made our list of the best road bike wheels currently available.

Here though, thanks to being in Hunt’s top-of-the-range Limitless line, there’s an option to spec CeramicSpeed bearings instead of the standard EZO steel balls.

Those come at a £350 / $350 / €450 premium.

Hunt Limitless UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheelset prices and availability

The 48mm-deep wheels feature a slightly wider rim.

  • 48 Limitless UD Carbon Spoke Disc (EZO): available now, £1,449 / $1,669 / €1,889
  • 48 Limitless UD Carbon Spoke Disc (CeramicSpeed): available late-March 2023 (UK) & mid-April (USA), £1,799 / $2,019 / €2,339

The 60mm-deep wheels are slightly narrower to optimise aerodynamics and weight.

  • 60 Limitless UD Carbon Spoke Disc (EZO): available mid-October 2022, £1,999 / $1,729 / €1,949
  • 60 Limitless UD Carbon Spoke Disc (CeramicSpeed): available late-March 2023 (UK) & mid-April (USA), £1,849 / $2,069 / €2,399

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